Going Too Far

Okay, I am all for work place drug tests — especially if the workplace revolves around machinery or other such things that require one’s full mental faculties for optimum safety, but I just learned about drug tests for teens which can be administered at home by the parents.  That is just wrong.

Yes, teens make bad choices and drug use is something to watch for and be concerned about, but the instant a parent purchases Drug Testing Kits with the intention of using them on their own kids, all trust is gone. The parents obviously don’t trust the child, so the child will never again trust the parent.

Further, most kids, if they’re being tarred and feathered for it anyway, will start taking drugs even if they never have before. As a teen I was accused of smoking so many times when I was innocent, that I finally decided I might as well smoke since no one believed me any way.

*And even if a kid has already been caught using drugs and the parents want to know that s/he is staying clean, I see no reason for them to be the one to administer the drug test.  That is like telling the kid you expect him or her to fail.  Let the doctor do it as part of the on-going post care.  Sure it might cost more then administering the test oneself, but how much is peace in the family worth?

Update:  I stand corrected.  According to the comments I received there are parents who have done this successfully and remained close to their children.  Given my life experiences, I don’t understand how they managed this, but I am willing to retract my words and tell parents it can work and has.  I think one would have to be careful in approaching the child with an attitude of help rather than blame.

26 thoughts on “Going Too Far

  1. That’s the most stupid thing I have ever heard ! most of the kids smoke canabis and to me that is not a drug. I smoked it with my son, and then it wasn’t fun anymore, he stopped ! only forbidden things are interesting !

    • Gattina — cannabis is a drug and it causes irrational behavior and brain damage, much like alcohol, which many people also think is okay.

  2. You are SO wrong on this one Quilly! If it hadn’t been for IN HOME drug tests I probably would have lost BOTH of my boys! It wasn’t a matter of NOT TRUSTING — I KNEW they were doing drugs! And without the notion that I could make them pee in the cup at any given time, they would have continued doing drugs!!! DON’T EVER judge ME for taking responsible steps to HELP my child kick a BAD HABIT!!! This POST is WRONG!!!
    .-= Melli´s last blog ..Princess Purple Dress From The Palace of Pinecone Puddle =-.

    • Melli — I’m sorry I offended you. I just couldn’t wrap my thoughts around your point of view. Initially people can only look at things from their own perspective — the one they lived. Even though I was a good kid and I didn’t drink, do drugs or run around, I was accused of it on a daily basis. My step-mother would give me sobriety tests after my dates (walk the line, touch your nose, etc.). I am certain if there had been drug tests then I would have had to do them nightly. From that perspective, all I could think of is punishment and belittling. Obviously, according to you and at least one other mother, I failed to see it from the perspective of love and help.

      To tell you the truth, even though you say it worked for your family and I know your boys are still loving and close to you, even now with my past I can’t understand how that could be. Sometimes we just don’t know we’re scarred until we see ourselves through someone else’s mirror.

      • It’s okay… I still LOVE you! But those tests really DID help me turn my boys around. It took a long time — in the beginning I DID test them about every other day. Just to let them know that I was serious. After that I dropped it to just once every now and then – but unexpectedly. After they had proven I could trust them MOST of the time, then I only did it when they were going somewhere that I new drugs would be rampant – like a concert! But it all started at that darn Skate Park — and I don’t like to JUDGE certain groups – but skaters really DO have a tendency to at least do weed. And I was one of those mom’s that ENJOYED my kids activities — so for yeeeeears I took them to the skatepark and stayed and sat on the bleachers and WATCHED them skate — so all that time I knew they WEREN’T involved in it. But almost the MINUTE my back was turned (I finally decided that they’re skate time was taking up too much of MY life) they got into it. I didn’t want to believe it at first, but sure enough! I tried being nice… I tried reasoning… I tried EVERYTHING — and then Derek got arrested. I said THAT’s IT!!! I was NOT willing to let them throw their lives away. And Amanda thought I was invading their privacy – she had FITS with me! But I didn’t care! My sister lost BOTH of her sons – one to drug addiction (MUCH stronger than just pot!) and the other to alcohol abuse — one died at 35 — the other at 32! And only two years apart! I wasn’t letting THAT happen to MY kids if I could possibly avoid it.

        Yes, your step mother was a piece of work – and she probably WOULD have had you take a pee test everyday! BUT… on the other hand, YOU would have had the last laugh – because they aren’t CHEAP – and you would have tested NEGATIVE every time! LOL! As for me … when they all started coming up negative, I was THRILLED to have wasted money!
        .-= Melli´s last blog ..Princess Purple Dress From The Palace of Pinecone Puddle =-.

  3. Thankfully my kids have never given me any reason to think they’re involved with drugs, but a couple of my siblings and my husband’s siblings have been. If things get that far, it is not about trust any more. Trust is long gone and a child (or even an adult) shouldn’t expect to be trusted until they’ve earned it back. How can you trust someone who steals and lies and sneaks — and yes, all of that has happened with extended family members while on drugs. I don’t know if I would do drug testing in my own home unless things were really severe and it came down to “If you’re going to stay here, you’re going to have to stay clean and prove to me you are.” I wouldn’t do it lightly, but if it came to that point, I wouldn’t discount it as an option.
    .-= Barbara H.´s last blog ..Top o’ the mornin’ to you! =-.

    • Barbara — not having been there myself I can only judge on my own life experiences. Had there been drug tests when I was a teen, my step-mother would have administered them weekly if not daily. I never took drugs. I didn’t drink. I didn’t run around with the wrong kids, but she accused me of it constantly. There is still a lot of anger and resentment in me over her, even though I pray about it often. It spills over onto my father, too, because he allowed it.

      • Reading through the replies — what your step-mom did was awful. I’m glad you can see it now as Joseph did — what people meant for evil. God meant to redeem and use for good. I hope you can heal from it eventually — though perhaps the pain of it helps you have such a heart for kids. But I hope God can maintain that heart with the pain being only a memory rather than a continual source.

        With my sister-in-law, our awareness began when she began asking family members for financial help. She had always been fiercely independent and did not want help. but everyone runs into trouble now and then, and people were glad to help. But then it continued — it seemed like she was constantly having one problem or another, asking for money, even in odd situations, like when relatives came up when her dad nearly died and was in ICU. We were 2,000 miles away, so couldn’t really know what was going on until Jim went up to visit his dad in ICU, and he knew something very wrong was going on with his sister — not just the financial issues, but the way she was acting. But she denied anything — even after she was arrested on drug possession — even after she was imprisoned.

        Come to find out, her (3rd) husband, daughter, and daughter’s boyfriend were all using. And you want to hear something really sick? The daughter’s boyfriend knew that Jim’s mom kept her doors unlocked and took her hearing aids out when she was home alone, after her husband died, and he would sneak in and steal either money or things he could sell to get money, all without her ever hearing or knowing about it.

        That’s why I say at that point that trust is long gone. I was astounded at the denial and deception. When someone is addicted (I think it was crystal meth in their case), that is all they care about: getting money to get the next fix. Their reasoning is skewed as is any common decency they may have had before.

        Jim’s sister wrote to us while she was in prison, and the first several letters were filled with denials, railing at the injustice of it all. It wasn’t until several weeks passed by and the drugs began leaving her system that she could even think clearly and admit to anything. She had an opportunity around that time to be released, but the court required letters from her relatives testifying as to her character, and one of the hardest things Jim and his brother felt they had to do was to write and say, no, we do not feel she is ready to be released. She had lived with Jim’s mom just before being arrested, and we were on the verge of bringing his mom here then for her own protection — she would always “help” whenever asked for anything, not realizing she was enabling. Plus just for his sister’s own life, they felt she was not ready to go back into the same situations as before and survive. She was eventually placed in a faith-based rehab program and turned her life around and has done marvelously since being released. Then she could understand why some of the actions were taken and why trust was gone in the midst of it all.

        In her case, she was a grown adult with grown adult children. But if in the middle of all that she had come to stay with us or we lived close enough to monitor her living situation with his mom, I don’t think he would have hesitated to make drug testing a condition. And having been through this with her and her family, and with my brother and a nephew, as I said in another comment, I wouldn’t use drug testing at the first suspicion, but if I thought it was needed, I would use it.

        I think recovering addicts do realize that they weren’t acting in a trustworthy manner and that drastic measures needed to be taken, and thankfully, trust can be restored over the long haul.

        You want to know what I think is really cruel? We saw a Dr. Phil program (one of the only ones I ever watched) where a family had a teen on drugs, somehow talked him into going on Dr. Phil, where they had a public intervention and sent him off to rehab at the end of the show. I know they were desperate…but I think the kid was right to feel pained at the unnecessary publicity of it. I don’t know what happened with him in the long run.

    • Susan — but Barbara and Melli have a point — a kid who O.D.ed on drugs wouldn’t help the relationship, either, and given such a choice, I would rather lose my child to anger than death.

  4. I am so sorry you were abused that way, Quilly.

    Just like many other good things, I can see that the at-home drug tests could certainly be abused by parents/step-parents whose motivation is not love but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have merit – just as sexual abuse or child-beating don’t mean we should eliminate marital sex or parental discipline. We shouldn’t “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

    I pray I’m never in the situation in which I would have to deal with this. My heart aches for the families who have been impacted by this issue.
    .-= Mocha with Linda´s last blog ..Flashback Friday Prompt #2 =-.

    • Linda — for the most part I consider the abuses in my life to be things God has ultimately used for good. They have given me an advocate’s heart. Still sometimes, like now, I realize I haven’t completely healed.

  5. Think you stirred the pot with this one, Quilly 🙂 That’s entirely ok though – you’ve been through things other people haven’t, and you are entitled to feel this way by all means.

    The thought of either of my kids doing drugs gives me nightmares, but so far with the Teen, all I need to deal with is bad grades and attitude! We’ve talked about drugs all her life though, so I’d like to think that had something to do with her wise decisions to abstain. Wee One will hopefully follow a similar path – although I wouldn’t mind if she got better grades…!!!

    *hugs* because I think you need one just now.

    Have a super day!
    .-= Jenn@ You know… that blog?´s last blog ..Special: An Interview with… Main Street =-.

  6. I think part of what’s going on here is whether a child is doing drugs or not. Being accused when you are innocent is damaging. Using a tool to solve an existing problem is different. I was often accused of things I never did also. But if my daughter had a problem with drugs I would have used a drug test to get her off of them. There’s a difference between using a drug test as an accusation and shaming device and using a drug test as a tool for teaching sobriety.

    limerick love
    .-= Nessa´s last blog ..limerick love =-.

    • I think that’s one of the main keys. I wouldn’t use a drug test at first if I suspected anything — I would try to deal with it in other ways. But when drug use was plainly evident I wouldn’t hesitate to use them.

  7. Not being a parent, I could say that drug testing your children is wrong-but I suppose that as a parent sometimes you have to compromise your child’s privacy if you really have a reason to believe that there is something going on and your child needs help. If a drug test is the way to go, well, then you have to do what you have to do.
    .-= Silverneurotic´s last blog ..Not a PSA =-.

  8. I think as parents we all make choices and someone will always view that choice as wrong. As long as your child has a relationship with the rest of the family that is healthy and is socially productive then I guess you know you made the right choice.
    mega ((( hugs ))) to you all!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Sensational Haiku Wednesday =-.

  9. I hope & pray that I never need to make the choice, but if I did feel that I had to buy a drug testing kit, it would be because all trust was already gone. My heart breaks for those parents who have had to test their children because of proven drug abuse habits.
    I do have a friend whose teen was getting into drugs last year, and I know the mom was testing, but I think she had it done at the doctor’s office.

    Quilly, I’m so sorry you were unjustly accused as a teenager. Our personal experiences truly do create a filter through which we see the world. (And for the record, my reaction also would have been to do some of the things I was being accused of, since I was already being punished for them.)

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